Spectacular Stone Fruits

Nothing says summer quite like the sweet juicy flavors of stone fruits. The only challenge with stone fruits compared to apples or pears, is that fresh stone fruits don’t store well.

What does “Stone fruit” mean? I’m so glad you asked! The term comes from the stone-hard covering found around the single large seed at the fruit’s core. The stone supports the fruit as it hangs off the tree branch by its stem and provides a passage for nutrients to flow from the tree to the growing fruit.

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Storage Tips: Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and their hybrids are best ripened at room temperature, stem-end down. Don’t refrigerate fruit before it’s ripe, or it may develop a wrinkled skin and mealy flesh. Ripe fruit is soft, has a sweet aroma and can be store in the refrigerator for a few days. Cherries are ready to eat when purchased and can be kept in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to three days.

Cooking Methods: Stone fruits are delicious eaten as is, but they also can be roasted, poached or sautéed, baked into pies and crumbles, tossed into salads, made into jams or used as a sauce.

Plums: Fresh plums are a good source of vitamin C, while died plums-also known as prunes- provide fiber and Vitamin A, and may be pureed and substituted for fat in cakes, quick breads or muffins.

Nectarines: Nectarines have a smooth skin versus a peaches’ fuzz. Like peaches, a nectarine’s flesh may be white or yellow. These cousins can be used interchangeably in recipes, but nectarines offer the advantage of having no skin to peel.

Peaches: peaches come in clingstone and freestone varieties. A clingstone’s fruit doesn’t fall off its pit, making it fine for eating but a chore for slicing. However, a freestone’s fruit easily separates from its pit. You can’t tell whether a peach is a clingstone or freestone by its looks, but clingstones typically arrives first at farmers markets, followed by freestones.

Cherries: Sweet or sour, cherries are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Since they must be picked ripe, cherries are a fragile crop. Sweet cherries are mainly sold fresh, but most cherries grown are sour varieties and typically are canned, frozen, or dried.

Apricots: Apricots are rich in pectin, which provides their creamy texture when eaten ripe and their meatiness when dried. This delicate fruit is most often canned or dried.

 Stone Fruit PanzanellaPanzanellaIngredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoesSonefruitSalad
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups of ½-inch ciabatta bread cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 peach, diced
  • 1 lb cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 5 oz baby arugula
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbles
  • Balsamic syrup for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. Arrange the tomatoes and the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt, to taste. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set Aside.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with 2 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt, and the garlic. Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy and starting to brown, stirring halfway through. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Ina large bowl, toss the roasted vegetables with the croutons, fruit, red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, basil, arugula, and goat cheese. Let sit for at least 10 min before serving. Serve drizzled with balsamic syrup.

Family Shops Local and Wins Big!

Seven minutes, all the Made In Oklahoma Coalition products he could fit in his cart. That’s the challenge Taylor Foster was given on June 16th at his local Homeland in Muskogee.   Taylor’s wife Nikki and three of their five kids were on hand to watch Taylor sprint through the store and help make sure he got all those tasty treats like Griffin’s syrup and Hiland ice cream.

MIOMarathon1 MIOreceipt MIOMarathon5

“Not so much meat Taylor, get something else!” was one of our favorite quotes from Nikki as Taylor filled their cart with Bar S hot dogs and bacon.

The Foster family won the Grand Prize seven-minute MIO shopping spree and a Kitchen Aid Mixer by shopping at Homeland and using their One Card throughout the month of April, MIO month.

The purpose of the month long contest was to draw attention to the fact that Homeland offers a wide variety of wonderful products that are made right here in Oklahoma. Many people are unaware that Oklahoma has a plethora of products made right here in our great state including, Ozarka water, Head Country Barbecue Sauce, Griffin’s, Fast Fixin’ and Viva paper towels among many others.

Taylor knew the record to beat was $780 and after all his items were scanned his total rang up at $739.47. While initially bummed he didn’t break the record a closer look revealed he had saved $110 by using his One Card meaning his grand total would have actually been $849.47, blowing the record out of the water. When we told Taylor he did in fact break the record he responded by saying, “That’s too funny! At least my kids will be proud of me.” We’re proud of you too Taylor! Congratulations on your MIO haul!

MIO Marathon 2015 from Homeland Stores on Vimeo.